The USDA Economic Research Service noted that a major factor behind the enlarged trade in 2018 is projected increased exports from three of the top six global exporters—Vietnam, Pakistan, and Burma.
Exports of Vietnam for 2018 are expected to increase 400,000 metric tons, to 6 million, due to increased demand from Southeast Asia, especially the Philippines. China is again forecasted to be the country’s largest export market.
Pakistan is projected to export 4.1 million metric tons of rice in 2018, up 100,000 metric tons from a year earlier, a result of a slightly larger crop, the USDA said.
Burma is expected to export 1.7 million metric tons of rice in 2018, up 100,000 metric tons from 2017, primarily due to stronger demand from regional buyers and the EU.
In contrast, exports for India are projected to drop 500,000 metric tons in 2018 due to a smaller crop and stronger domestic use.
According to the USDA, Thailand exports are expected to be flat in 2018, while US rice exports are projected to decline 50,000 metric tons because of higher prices and tighter supplies.